The Selangor MB and PKR deputy president is using carrot and sticks approach to ensure candidates favorable to him contest in the general election, claims Chegu Bard

KUALA LUMPUR: Selangor Menteri Besar Azmin Ali is forced to defend his position by hook or by crook, hence the need to replace assemblymen who are not supportive of him, said activist Badrul Hisham Shaharin, who is better known as Chegu Bard, today.

“Azmin has to defend his position by hook or by crook. He does not have that many supporters and he knows that he would not get enough support even when Pakatan Harapan retains the state (in GE14),” he said.

The ex-PKR life member and a critic of Azmin’s administration revealed this to Berita Daily when asked to comment on the possibility of a split within Selangor PKR due to Azmin’s leadership.

He added that those against Azmin, who is also PKR deputy president, have started to support Pakatan Harapan and PPBM chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

“Some of those in the anti-Azmin faction are Rafizi Ramli (Pandan MP and PKR vice president), Saifuddin Nasution Ismail (PKR secretary general) and Nurul Izzah Anwar (Lembah Pantai MP and PKR vice president).

“They have become pro-Mahathir to put a stop to Azmin. They see Mahathir as a person who can stop Azmin progressing further,” he said.

He also said that the split has spread to the other parties within the Pakatan Harapan component parties.

“The Pakatan grassroots movement has called me in to support of a strike on Azmin’s cartel. Pakatan Harapan cybertroopers too will reveal a name list of candidates from Azmin that needs to be defeated.”

Chegu Bard however added that those against Azmin are not financially strong to counter efforts to place candidates favorable to Azmin as election candidates.

“In the elections in 2008 and 2013, there were two candidate lists. One from branches and divisions and the other, from Azmin’s camp.

“However, Azmin’s efforts were neutralised due to Anwar Ibrahim’s presence,” he said in reference to PKR de facto leader who is due to be released in June after serving time in jail for sodomy.

“It is different now that Anwar is inside (prison). Both Nurul and Saifuddin do not have enough funds.

“Azmin’s cartel can come forward to push for their candidate list to be finalised along with adequate funds. They can threaten to withhold funds. It will affect the party’s performance nationwide.”

He also said those aligned to Azmin may resort to boycotting party campaigns and sabotaging candidates that are not favorable to them.

Chegu Bard further said that while there were no leaders on par with Azmin in Selangor, they can be groomed.

“Leaders can be found. Ijok assemblyman Dr Idris Ahmad for instance can be as popular as Nizar Jamaluddin was in 2008,” he said in reference to former Perak MB who came into power in 2008.

Nizar who was then with PAS was not shortlisted as menteri besar but became popular due to measures favorable with the people, he said.

Azmin’s camp is widely believed to have decided to drop Idris from their list of candidates for the 14th general election, and field G Sivamalar who is Wanita PKR wing’s vice chief.

Over the weekend the turmoil within Pakatan partners in Selangor came to the fore with Amanah, PPBM and DAP lashing out at Azmin over the GE14 preparation.

At the same time, leaders within PKR too had expressed their unhappiness with the manner Azmin is leading the charge to retain Selangor in the next general election.

Selangor Amanah feels that Azmin is in favour of working with PAS so that he can retain his MB position if the opposition retains the state. DAP and PPBM meanwhile seem to have the intention of replacing Azmin as the MB, with PPBM eyeing that position.